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date: 02 July 2020


A Dictionary of Public Health

Miquel Porta

, John M. LastJohn M. Last

Expulsion from the uterus of a fetus before it is viable; i.e., before 20 weeks' gestation and/or 500 grams fetal weight. This occurs naturally to an estimated 20% to 30% of conceptions as a consequence of death or severe damage to the fetus caused by disease, environmental agents, ingested toxins, or other suspected and unknown factors; or it may be artificially induced by the action of a pregnant woman, a lay person, or a health care professional. Most of the half-million annual maternal deaths in the world, predominantly in low-income countries, are due to infection and sepsis following botched, often self-induced abortions. ... ...

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